Tag Archives: poop

JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 8 – DAY 37 :: the joy of living

8 Feb
{and loving}

My promise is giving me a bit of a joyride so far this year. Joy….has me thinking about joyousness, if that’s a word! And what it means to create joyfulness every day.

Today, I found myself puppy sitting a total Angel. She is eleven weeks of puppyness, high energy and cat naps included. We played fetch. And pooped. We ate treats. And pooped. We sat. And pooped. And then napped. And then pooped some more.

It’s a marvel really, to be a puppy. So little and so big at the same time. Above all, it was marvelous to witness the pure energy of being new to this life. The light coming in the window! The smell of new shoes! The absolute and total delight of pooping!

It made me reflect on joy — and the act of both loving and being totally alive. It is truly loving and living at the same time. 

Another lesson in joy.
(and pooping.)

More tomorrow…



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Day 272: sh*t happens

29 Sep

The 7-month old, Brady, just pooped right on the floor. The 10-year old, Penny, pooped directly after, on the floor, right before my eyes.

Dear dogs.

If there was ever any doubt that we regress in old age, becoming needy, fragile, and otherwise dependent, it has all but disappeared.

It’s as if we become childlike again.

According to this article, there is a tribe of people in Rajasthan who celebrate death of old people with joy and exhilaration and mourn the birth of babies with great sorrow.

It’s completely the opposite of what we do.

But in so many ways it is so beautiful.

It makes me hope there will be someone, someday, to pick up my poop when I am old, feeble and totally dependent.  And that, someday, I will do the same for a little baby too.

It’s a good reminder to live fearless and with full abandon.

Because in the circle of life…
Shit happens. 

Day 179: fearless in the grand canyon :: day 2 part 2, a bright angel

28 Jun

Just this morning we were at the top of the Grand Canyon, peering over the edge.

From up above you cannot spot the river.
No sign of a roaring, white water beast. Just a canyon of rocks. A bowl of hardened sediment, millions of years old.

The hike down loses about 4,000 feet of elevation.  More than a mile straight down.  Almost an 8 mile hike.  But after 4 hours of hiking and sweating it felt like a marathon by the time our toes hit waters bottom in the Colorado River.

Our first order of business was to send out a search party.
We were missing members of our party.

Where were Kim and Dave? 

August 18, 1869 – “Early in the afternoon we discover a stream entering from the north — a clear, beautiful creek, coming down through a gorgeous red canyon. We conclude to name it Bright Angel’.”    
-Major John Wesley Powell, first American explorers of “the Great Unknown”

After an hour passed Kim, Dave and our guide Tom finally emerge from the canyon wall, as if walking straight out of that clear, beautiful creek in the gorgeous red canyon.

Dave summed it up best —  I knew Kim was tired when she laid down in the creek and didn’t care about her clothes. 

Ah, yes, under the elements we have already given up our attachment to the frivolous condition of fabric on our backs. I personally was sporting  a red splotched shirt with canyon creek mud prints.


As we met our new best friends — turkey sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly, and host of cookies and trail mix — we were also introduced to our river guides — the people in which were about to entrust our lives.

They were a merry band of tan and muscular individuals who obviously looked more at home in the heat than our panting, dehydrated souls. They bounced from boat to boat, tying things down, grabbing buckets, laying out life jackets and instructing us on how to pack.

You see, you don’t just PACK for the Grand Canyon.
You pack, and then repack to make sure you have what you need.  And, then before boarding the boat, you RE-pack your new pack one more time — after you have packed it on your back down through the canyon.

Once at rivers edge we were assigned large, rubber, black bags, with enormous zip locks. And, we were instructed to remove everything from our backpacks.

Then it was time to get down to business.
Pick a life jacket. 


I saw the #1 written on one of the life jackets, just sitting there starring up at me.  I hesitated for a moment, out of fear of appearing cocky — but then couldn’t resist. Hey, I may be a zero in other parts of my life (fear of spiders!) but at least I could wear a #1 on my back all week, if only on my life preserve.

Next came our safety talk with Keith — certified safety officer — who explained everything you need to know to gracefully survive falling out of your boat and being pummeled to death by rocks and 10-rated rapids.

Or, as Keith put it, “survive your own, personal, white water adventure.”

This was important information because we were about to launch into three of the larger rapids on the river — right out of the gate:

Horn Creek (7-9 on a scale of 10)
Granite (7-8)

Hermit (7-8)

Or, as I refer to them as:
Fearless #1
Fearless #2
Fearless #3

I can honestly say I have never felt anything more intense or larger-than-life than being in the bottom of the Grand Canyon — floating down clear, emerald green water with just a tube of yellow rubber and a life preserve on my back — then, without any practice or a trial run, shooting straight into the river and hoping for the best.

There is nothing more intense than the stillness of the water right before you drop into the rapids.  Even if you know what to do, where to place your paddle, how to turn the boat and how to save yourself if you fall out.

We all made it down river to camp.
No one fell out. No one was lost. Everyone accounted for.

We already had scrapes and bruises to show off as souvenirs and one pair of broken Tevas. But, we made it through our first string of challenges — a brutal hike on the Bright Angel Trail in the heat and three kick-ass, rambunctious rapids — all in one day.

Twenty-four of us total. Divided evenly between twelve men and twelve women, about to take on the grandest canyon of all — with the help of eight skilled guides and oarsmen.

But not before we learned how to poop.

That night in camp, Kerrie, our lead guide and “Mama Duck” explained the rules of camp. Mostly the typical procedures of how to wash your hands and set up your sleeping kit, but most important — how to groove.

Urination in a bucket — don’t toss in the toilet paper!
And defecation in a separate bucket — otherwise known as THE GROOVER.

The best news of all — every time the conch shell rings, a camper gets her wings — wait, I mean, she gets to eat DINNER!

Which may have been the best news of all after a long, hard, day’s work.
Who cares if you have to poop in a can — food’s on!

As we set up camp for the night we could hear the roar of Crystal (7 – 10) the rapid just beyond our campsite.

She is the mother-load.
A bright angel.
The queen of the river.
The goddess of the GEMS.

And, we were headed straight for her in the morning. 

Day 22: oh, poop

22 Jan

When I awoke this morning I couldn’t find Pup.

Pup, the world’s sweetest 65 pound cuddle dog, who usually stays as close as possible to one of us, was not in the bedroom.

Where’s Pup?
As I stumbled into the living room in a pre-coffee daze I immediately spotted Pup in the far corner of the apartment and then directly stepped in a pile of dog poop.

My first reaction was: “uuuughhhhh!”
My second was: Poor Puppy.

As I heel-toed it to the bathroom, gingerly trying not to spread the mess, I thought about how rarely this happens. Clearly something was wrong.

As I scrubbed the floor I couldn’t help but think of one woman’s words I heard this fall.

We have to stand in our own crap in order to clean it up.

(I’m notorious for messing up quotes, so know this is not verbatim. I heard these inspiring words while attending a conference in October with Women On Fire founder, Debbie Phillips. The words of wisdom came from Elizabeth Lesser, who you may know as the co-founder of Omega Institute, or maybe as the author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow.)

Back to this morning:
As I knelt over a crappy pile of Pup’s, I couldn’t help but think of mine:
I spent too many years in a bad marriage because I wanted to be a good wife.
I trusted too much in a maniacal boss because I wanted to be a good employee.
I gave up too many of my own dreams in order to help others live theirs (case in point: I always wanted a dog but had a partner who didn’t … so we didn’t).

All because I didn’t want to sh*t in my own bed.
Two years later, after the cleansing process began (marriage=over, job=lost) I am here to say, standing in my own crap has been a rough road, but way more rewarding. I am now more true to my heart and soul, and living a more exhilarating life.

If you have a pile of crap, here’s my thought of the day:
Stand right in the biggest, stinkiest, grossest part of it and take a deep breathe.
Then, go get a broom, or a mop, or some super cleaning agent.

Believe me, the cleaning process stinks, and I’m still scrubbing out some of it. But, I can honestly say the results are well worth the effort.

As Pup now sits at my feet, wagging his tail, completely unaware of the pile of poop he left us this morning, I am reminded that I spent a long, lost, decade of my life pining for a dog.

Now, I have one.
Poop and all.
And, it’s pretty fabulous.

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